Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arctic Outbreak or Déjà Vu All Over Again

I hate to say it, but I told you so. This is the second Arctic Outbreak this year and we are only in November. Let's hope it gets it out of its system before things get really cold up north.
Tuesday night, November 11/12 temperatures dipped into the teens across Eastern Washington.
Buena Station (WSU recorded a low of 18.9o. Buena is the coldest station in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. Walla Walla was a chilly 16.1o. Patterson recorded 17.0 o.
Since the vines still had green leaves  WSU had not started cold hardiness testing yet, so we don't know at what temperature bud loss starts to occur.
According to the WSU model, we should be fine with no loss. Of course the tip buds are toast, but those are not used in Washington to produce fruit since most everyone uses spur pruning instead of cane pruning.
The rest of the week is forecast to be near or below freezing. This means good cold hardiness will develop quickly.
Am I going out to check for dead buds? No way. It's freezing out there. It's not important information until pruning time at the end of February at which time pruning can be adjusted for damage.
Let's all hope the Grumpy Winemaker is wrong and this really isn't a pattern for the rest of the winter.

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